Continuous Improvement: Learning from Failure

High school is the last safe place to fail. This statement may sound harsh, negative, or even flippant, but it's true. The consequences of failing a quiz, test, course, or even performing poorly in a friendship are minimal in high school. Here at Wye River Upper School, we push our students to perform at the top of their skillset, knowing they will struggle. We anticipate the struggle because with the struggle comes growth.

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Creative Ways to Pay for School Tuition

Are you wondering how you can pay for tuition at an independent school like Wye River Upper School? Our school was founded on the premise that we are ALL neuro-diverse learners, meaning that we all learn differently and that’s okay. However, some students face challenges in a typical school setting and benefit from a smaller learning environment like Wye River. Typically, a more intimate setting comes at a price, often one that families struggle to afford. Rest assured that there are ways - besides financial aid - families can pay for their child’s educational investment, including 529 plans and other savings vehicles that are typically used for college purposes.

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Using Spanish in the Real World

At Wye River Upper School, we have decided to maximize our language learning time by teaching college-level foreign language classes. Meaning, when a student takes Spanish 101 in college, that course is simply a condensed version (four months) of a full year of high school Spanish (10 months). The goal of our transition from high school Spanish to college Spanish is to enable our students to engage with the Spanish-speaking world seamlessly upon graduation. Our academic program is rooted in preparing our students for the world beyond our doors. 

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Effective Communication: Giving and Receiving Feedback

Clearly communicating ideas is an art form. This summer, I had the opportunity to review our Interpersonal Communication curriculum and found many fantastic tips that can be used by anyone who is interested in becoming a better communicator.

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Managing Back to School Anxiety

It is very normal for students to have back to school anxiety, particularly following the challenging school year of 2020-2021. Some students have not been back in the classroom since 2020; others, like Wye River Upper School students, were back on a hybrid schedule in early 2021. Getting back to a fully in-person school schedule is both exciting - and worrisome - for most students. It is important for school staff and parents to reassure students that it is ok to feel anxious and to seek out someone to talk to as needed.

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Staff Summer Reading: A Fearless Edge!

The students at Wye River Upper School are currently reading books recommended by their teachers, and the staff has followed suit. I selected two summer reading books for our staff, hoping the selections would be entertaining, inspiring, and impactful. This summer, the staff has split into two groups and are reading either Edge: Turning Adversity into Advantage, by Laura Huang, or The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth, by Amy C. Edmondson. I chose these nonfiction texts because I want the staff to stretch their leadership skills this year and feel empowered to be authentically themselves in the process. 

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Summer Goals: Why They are So Important for Students Who Learn Differently

As the “lazy days of summer” pass us by, some of you may be wondering, “How can I add to my summer experience in little ways that will benefit me?” This is not only a great time for Wye River Upper School students to refresh, recharge, and do all the things that they find enjoyable and are passionate about but it’s also an excellent time for anyone to try new things, set new achievable goals, and prepare for the upcoming school year.

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The Summer Slide: How to support upper school students with learning differences over the summer

After a long and tumultuous school year, our Wye River Upper School young adults have made it to summer break. I would encourage them to use this time to reflect on the past school year and plan for the future. I'm sure our students have learned some wonderful habits of independence while working within the hybrid model. Unfortunately, they have naturally lost some social skills as a result of working from home. While thinking about what worked and what didn't, as parents and guardians, we can use this time to help them organize and prepare for the new school year slowly and thoughtfully. 

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